A Visit To Maingear HQ
In a small industrial park in the town of Kenilworth, New Jersey, there's a place where discerning computer geeks can have their high-octane gaming PCs built by a team of professional enthusiasts. It's Maingear HQ, and CEO Wallace Santos was courteous enough to take Tom's Hardware on a guided tour through the custom PC-building facility.
Form And Function
After being welcomed into the building, fellow Tom's Hardware contributor Derek Forrest and I found ourselves standing in a veritable man-cave. The lobby at Maingear serves as a stylish lounge area for employees and visitors. But more importantly, it makes an immediate statement to any newcomers who are unfamiliar with the company: "We love what we do; we're proud of what we've done and have yet to do."
The Wall Of Accolades
Right away, I was able to sense an unspoken purpose to the layout of Maingear's facilities. The lobby isn't just a way to exude the casual attitude you're met with by Wallace and his team; this space tells a story of successes. Awards, certifications and magazine features adorn walls and shelves in practically every corner of the room.
It Speaks For Itself
In a way, the lobby tries to tell you everything you need to know about Maingear. Aesthetics are extremely important to everyone in the building, but equally as important are the things you're going to see under the hood. So, how exactly do all of these components that marry form and function come together? We would find out in the Maingear warehouse.
I Love It When A Plan Comes Together
The best way I can describe my first impression upon entering Maingear's warehouse is the old saying: "a place for everything, and everything in its right place." A massive inventory room houses each of the separate components that make up a custom PC's anatomy, which are later sorted into separate "kit" boxes as equipment is prepped for assembly.
Welcome To The Nerdery
The main floor of the Maingear warehouse is the embodiment of ordered chaos. Constant movement and abandoned workstations might seem a bit conspicuous in any other work setting, but with so many tasks to complete and deadlines to meet, this team is constantly on the move.
Making Complex Seem Simple
One of the main benefits of ordering through a boutique shop like Maingear is the time the team spends organizing the guts of a PC, something sometimes overlooked in a DIY setting. You won't see a SATA wire or cooling tube out of place. It's difficult to remember that these machines are built for performance when you find yourself simply appreciating their appearance, but since you asked...
All of the builds assembled in-house get put through their paces by way of this mammoth QA station. Utilizing simple home depot racks and an array of monitors, the Maingear crew performs extensive image testing and benchmarking on multiple machines at a time, and every component is expected to meet strict in-house standards before being shipped to a customer.
The Body Shop
The Maingear paint room is where you can clearly see Wallace's love of custom cars shine through. This is where Maingear's cases get the same quality paint jobs you'd expect to see on a high-performance sports car, with a high level of precision and artistry. It's one of the ways that Maingear sets itself apart.
Mean And Clean
Working with high-end electronics can get messy in general, what with so many moving parts and fragile components. Taking it to another level through design work like laser etching and custom painting presents even more of a challenge in that arena. Cleaning equipment, sanders and painter's tape can be found everywhere in the paint room.
However, as you can see, organization and cleanliness are obviously a high-priority at Maingear.
The Finished Product
The culmination of these considerable efforts can be found on display throughout Maingear's headquarters. Builds like the one pictured here really show off the craftsmanship the company is capable of. From start to finish, the goals of visual beauty and technical prowess seem to be on the minds of everyone on this small but efficient team. I'd be lying if I said I didn't stare at this particular build for longer than necessary. What can I say? Pretty lights entice me.